Business And Finance

Nope to NIRP

Kuroda corrodes the banks UNTIL this month bond traders were the most voluble complainers about the Bank of Japan’s vast programme of quantitative easing (creating money to buy bonds). The central bank’s interventions had slashed trading volumes in their market. But their gripes had a tiny audience and, understandably, received scant sympathy. Things have changed with the central bank’s new ...

Read More »

A hard pounding

CATERPILLAR is one of the most renowned industrial brands. It makes the kind of heavy machinery—loaders, excavators and off-road trucks—that is used in the construction, mining and transport industries when things need to get dug out or shifted somewhere. But the firm’s latest results, released on January 28th, show that it is struggling to shift its own products. “This past ...

Read More »

Tim Cook, privacy martyr?

MARTIN LUTHER pinned his treatise to a church door. Tim Cook posted his on Apple’s website. On February 16th Mr Cook published a harsh critique of the government, which has clashed with his firm repeatedly over providing information on suspected criminals—most recently in the case of Syed Rizwan Farook, who, with his wife, murdered 14 people at a holiday party ...

Read More »

Performance reviews: not dead yet

IN RECENT months the business press has reverberated with cheers for the end of performance reviews. “Performance reviews are getting sacked,” crows the BBC. They “will soon be over for all of us”, rejoices the Financial Times. Such celebration is hardly surprising. Kevin Murphy, a performance-review guru at Colorado State University, sums up the general feeling about them: an “expensive ...

Read More »

Laser pens and planes: A pointed problem

LASER pointers can be handy. Backyard astronomers use them to point out constellations on the vault of the heavens; management consultants to highlight their wisdom on a whiteboard. They are less popular with pilots. On Sunday a Virgin Atlantic flight, “six or seven miles” into its journey from Heathrow to New York, was forced to turn back after one of ...

Read More »

Discomforting brew

WHEN governments bailed out banks during the financial crisis, they tended to insist that shareholders suffer big losses. Most bondholders, however, got off scot-free. In theory, bondholders should have lost money too—but working out just how bankrupt the banks were, apportioning the losses and risking contagion among bondholders elsewhere seemed too risky to contemplate as the financial system was seizing ...

Read More »

Girl power

LABOUR markets are hotbeds of inequality. For every dollar a white American man in full-time work earns, the average white woman earns 78 cents and the average Latina only 56 cents. Marriage is a boon for male earnings; motherhood drags female earnings down. Likewise, gay men earn about 5% less than heterosexual ones in Britain and France, and 12-16% less ...

Read More »

Scientists may have at last found a way to beat jet lag

JUST over a century ago, Rudyard Kipling wrote that the advent of the aeroplane would herald a time “when the most extreme distances will be brought within the compass of one week’s—one hundred and sixty-eight hours’—travel”. Technology has brought us quite a bit further than that. Designers are now suggesting planes that could fly business passengers from New York to ...

Read More »